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Smaller plate likely at Talladega

21 March 2010

When cars return to Talladega for the April 25 Aaron's 499, NASCAR may issue restrictor plates with smaller openings than any used at last Tuesday's spoiler test at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

The test began with openings measuring 66/64ths inches. By the end of the afternoon session, NASCAR had reduced the size to 62/64ths.

On Saturday at Bristol, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton indicated that openings of 15/16ths (60/64ths) were under consideration but that a final decision had not been made.

As NASCAR decreased the size of the plate openings, it also reduced the size of the rear spoiler. Even with the smaller plates, however, Pemberton expects drivers to provide exciting racing at NASCAR's largest closed course.

"We're still going to have the opportunity for guys to get together and really put on a show," he said. "That's why we're getting the spoiler combination the way that we did with the plate. We saw at the Talladega test that Denny Hamlin and David Reutimann showed that there's definitely going to be that art form (a powerful two-car draft) back in play."

It was Pemberton who coined the phrase "Boys, have at it, and have a good time," which has become the mantra for aggressive racing this year and which was invoked innumerable times in the wake of the Edwards-Keselowski wreck at Atlanta.

Asked whether he ever regretted the off-the-cuff offseason remark, Pemberton laughed.

"Did you ever do something where you thought it was OK, and then it wound up being not so OK?" he joked. "Not really. All in fun. You can use that to be negative or positive, but, quite frankly, I think the drivers have done a pretty good job this year. It's like an art form. It's how you interpret the art."


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